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Introducing Suds and Shells – A Beer and Oyster Farm Tour!

We’ve teamed up with Dirigo Marine Resources to create a brand new tour experience called Suds and Shells. Visit one of the most well-known breweries in the state and then learn about oyster farming direct from the founder. Pairing beer and oysters is a winning combination, let us show you why!

Maine’s oysters are among the best in the country, if not the world.

This aquaculture industry is growing fast and with good reason. The oyster industry has grown by fivefold in the past eight years as Maine’s inner coastal waters provide excellent conditions for oyster farming.

The result? Restaurants around the country are now looking for Maine Oysters as they are a delicacy many people are seeking out.

We feel the same way about what the breweries in Maine are producing. The beer that is made here is world class in quality and consistency.

Both jobs are very hard work. They require planning and preparation and a long period of time in order to produce something at the end that is unique and valued.

We have combined these two passions into a brand new experience!

Introducing Suds and Shells – a beer and oyster farm tour!

Our first stop will be Maine Beer Company. This brewery was started in 2009 by brothers Dan and Dave Kleban after they learned how to homebrew on a $300 system they found online. After starting in a small space at One Industrial Way in Portland, they moved their brewery to a new building in Freeport during early 2013.

They have just completed work on their newly expanded facility that has more than tripled their production volume and has given them the opportunity to send their beer into new states. This expansion has also allowed them to turn their former brewing space into an impressive new tasting room and pizza restaurant that we will visit.

Our next stop is to the dock to meet the oyster boat F/V Patricia Lynn and the folks behind Dirigo Marine Resources.

They work hard to grow a specific type of oyster that they call Little Busters in the cold waters near Flying Point in Casco Bay.

The unique water profile at the confluence of the Gulf of Maine, the Harraseeket River, and the Little River, as well as their seasonal farm cycle from surface to ocean bed, give their special oysters a full-bodied, briny flavor with a delicately sweet finish.

As we cruise to their oyster farm we will have the opportunity for viewing frequent visitors such as Bald Eagles and Harbor Seals. When we arrive at the offshore farm, you’ll learn all about raising oysters directly from the owner and founder Greg Foote.

If you would like, you can try a half-dozen oysters plucked fresh from the sea right in front of you. You can even learn to shuck your own oysters like a pro.

On the way back to shore we will take a short harbor cruise to look for even more wildlife and enjoy the nature that surrounds the farm area.

After this incredible experience, we will hop back on the bus for the ride back to Portland loaded up with lots of beer and oyster knowledge.

Maine oysters are known for their high quality and boutique nature. And the flourishing industry is steadily increasing the supply.

The very same statements can be said for the Maine beer industry.

Once you’ve tasted a Maine oyster along with a Maine Beer while on the water in Maine, you will totally understand.

Don Littlefield is the General Manager of Brew Bus Tours. He enjoyed a Sterk Wit from The Alchemist in Stowe, Vermont while preparing this post. Twitter @BeerinME